KILLING HUMBABA

The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest surviving work of literature in the world. And at the risk of ruining all the movies, books and plays you are ever going to see or read, it is safe to say that the Epic is pretty much the basis for every story ever told.

THE BROMANCE OF GILGAMESH & ENKIDU

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a poem about the legendary Sumerian king of Uruk. It dates back nearly 4000 years and is humanity’s oldest story, not to mention the first bromance ever recorded.

THE ROAD TO TARGU MURES

Heritage tourism is attracting more and more people. They are looking for authentic experiences in the places they visit, and more often, to immerse themselves in the culture and history of their own past. The ancestry boom is helping countries preserve and digitise their records. With the help of Romanian travel agency Beyond Dracula, a …

THE ROAD TO TARGU MURES

Today, searching for ancestors is big business in the tourism industry. A twenty-five-year search for her mysterious grandfather led writer-director Mouna Mounayer to the heart of Romania. Surrounded by the majestic circle of the Carpathian Mountains, Targu Mures held the first real clues to his origins. Raluca Spiac, CEO of Beyond Dracula, organised and accompanied …

THE ROAD TO TARGU MURES

By Mouna Mounayer Today, searching for your identity through ancestry tourism is big business. There are millions of digitised records on hundreds of platforms, but that wasn’t always the case. For twenty-five years, writer-director Mouna Mounayer searched for her mysterious grandfather. She was on the verge of giving up when a chance conversation led to …

See, Taste, Touch, Smell, and Hear Your Way Through Romania

As we consider where future adventures should take us, the road less traveled remains as appealing as ever. Romania, a country known as much for its legends as its attractions, is not on the radar of many American travelers. And that's too bad! Mouna Mounayer, filmmaker and consultant on the creative board of the bespoke travel agency Beyond Dracula, shares five reasons Romania should top the list of places to discover.

Cook With Aline

https://youtu.be/OttaUW75H-8 I spent a delicious year in the company of Aline Kamakian, of Mayrig and Batchig fame. Filming Cook With Aline was a departure for me as I had never filmed a cooking show before. To say that it was great fun, is an understatement. Aline Kamakian is an inspired cook, making traditional and fusion …

ArabAd – SPECIAL REPORT APRIL 2014

My company Firehorse is featured in ArabAd, the monthly communications and business magazine. The special report is on the production industry in the MENA region.

THE FIRST CITY ON EARTH

One year before the Second Gulf War, in 2002, I had the privilege of filming the treasures of southern Iraq.  I filmed Mudhifs, the guesthouses of the disappearing Marsh Arabs, built from reeds in the same way as their ancient Mesopotamian ancestors.  I filmed the legendary Ziggurat of Ur and the site of Babylon but …

UNRWA ARCHIVE LAUNCHED

I have the great honour and pleasure in announcing that I have been working with UNRWA to help launch their unique visual archive on the history of the Palestinian refugees since 1948. The site was launched yesterday after a great deal of hard work from teams on either side of the Atlantic. If you want …

BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL CLOSING CEREMONY

The buzz at this evening's closing ceremony at the Beirut International Film Festival was palpable. A week long celebration of film ended with an award ceremony for the best short films and best documentaries. Having watched all the films as a member of the jury it was my great honour to read out the winners. …

ORION AND ME

Looking up at the stars, from my balcony overlooking a wintry Mediterranean sea, my heart smiles to see Orion looking down on me.  The great Greek hunter, father of the biblical Nephilim, ancient Egyptian constellation of rebirth and the afterlife has been my winter companion these past twenty years.  It seems fitting that the constellation …

Interview Mouna Mounayer & Najat Rizk

http://youtu.be/3ChXE83CuMM

ODE TO PARTNERSHIP

"Our success has really been based on partnerships from the very beginning." Bill Gates As I walked up onto the stage of the large auditorium at the Congre Istanbul Merkezi (Istanbul Congress Center), with my partner of twelve years, Najat Rizk, to collect our AllWorld Network Arabia 500 medals, I was reminded of Bill Gates' …

Cash-flow is more important than your mother…

Second Global Entrepreneur Summit Day Two 'Cash flow is more important than your mother.' quote by Professor Kenneth Morse What makes a tired, jaded and somewhat disheartened Arab woman entrepreneur sit up, take notice and regain her enthusiasm? It could be the fact that the sessions today, at the Second Global Entrepreneur Summit and AllWord …

Inflection Point

The second Global Entrepreneur Summit, Istanbul and AllWorld Arabia 500 + Turkey Day One All's changed, changed utterly, a terrible beauty is born. William Butler Yeats quoted by US Vice President Joe Biden at the second Global Entrepreneurship summit in Istanbul today Saturday 3 December 2011. Woke up this morning feeling cranky. Gluttony is so …

EVER HAD A LAWRENCE OF ARABIA MOMENT?

On my very second outing as a fully fledged documentary director I was let loose on an unsuspecting Arab world. First port of call Wadi Rum. What most of you don't know is that I grew up in a house in London where the film director David Lean had lunch every Sunday.

MAD DOGS AND ENGLISH MEN…

I am neither a mad dog nor a man and only half English at that but sometimes I feel like I have tarried too long in the midday sun.  Beirut in the midday sun in July is hot, humid and divine - if you're looking from a distance. Close up the city is awash with …

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